Archive for September 11th, 2018

Timberwolves sign Luol Deng

The Minnesota Timberwolves yesterday signed forward Luol Deng.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Deng “will get a one-year, $2.4 million deal — the veteran’s minimum — from the Wolves. Deng recently reached a contract settlement with the Los Angeles Lakers on the final two remaining years of a massive $72 million contract he signed in summer 2016. That made him an unrestricted free agent and he chose to reunite with his former coach from Chicago. The Wolves tried to sign him in 2016, but offered a two-year deal compared to the Lakers’ four.”

A 14-year NBA veteran, Deng has appeared in 880 career games (826 starts) over 14 seasons with Chicago, Miami, Cleveland and L.A. Lakers. Over his career he owns averages of 15.0 points on 45.5% shooting, 6.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.0 steals per game. Deng played under Head Coach Tom Thibodeau for three-plus seasons (234 games) in Chicago from 2010-14, averaging 16.8 points and 6.2 rebounds during the stretch. Under Thibodeau’s tutelage, Deng was named to the NBA All-Star Game in 2012 and 2013, as well as earning a spot on the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2012.

More from the Star Tribune: “He joins former Bulls teammates Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson and Derrick Rose and gives the Wolves another two-way player who can guard multiple positions, including both forward spots. ”

Deng has appeared in seven different postseasons between Chicago and Miami, including reaching the Eastern Conference Finals with Thibodeau and the Bulls in 2010-11. Deng has averaged 14.6 points on 45.5% shooting in 62 postseason contests (56 starts) over those seven seasons.

Andrew Bynum seeks NBA comeback

Here’s NBC Sports Philadelphia discussing center Andrew Bynum, who reportedly seeks a return to NBA action. Which sounds to us like a longshot, but it’s fun to ponder, because Bynum was quite a character.

I have no idea what Andrew Bynum has been up to over the past few years. I’d guess he has made a trip or two to the King of Prussia Mall and maybe even hit up his local bowling alley. But now we know the former face of the Sixers’ franchise — for like 30 seconds! — has actually been spending time in a gym lately doing something he never did in a regular-season game for the 76ers.

Bynum has been playing basketball. The former NBA lottery pick and total bust in Philadelphia is attempting to make a comeback at the age of 30, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. He last played in the NBA in 2014 for the Indiana Pacers after quickly flaming out with the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier that season.

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On new Wizards guard Austin Rivers

Here’s NBC Sports Washington on new Wizards guard Austin Rivers, who should certainly improve the team’s backcourt as he likely comes off the bench behind starters John Wall and Bradley Beal:

Rivers, though far from perfect, is potentially a significant upgrade for the Wizards at backup shooting guard and that help is coming at a good time. All-Star Bradley Beal played in all 82 games last season, but that was arguably not a good thing, as he ended up logging the fourth-most minutes of any NBA player and seemed to run out of gas at times late in the season.

Rivers should at the very least be able to take some of the workload off of Beal’s shoulders. Rivers could also help solve the Wizards’ issues at backup point guard behind John Wall and possibly even play some in three-guard lineups with both Beal and Wall on the floor.

Rivers’ likely role is clear. The question is how he will adjust to it given what he has grown accustomed to in recent years in L.A. and given he will be in a contract year. Rivers started 59 games last season for the Clippers and averaged 13.2 field goal attempts per night. Barring injuries, he will not get those opportunities in Washington.

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Here’s the Oregonian pondering the career of former NBA player Cliff Robinson:

Robinson is fifth all time among Trail Blazers career scoring leaders with 10,405 total points and comes in at No. 47 overall on the NBA’s list of all-time scoring leaders following the 2018 season with 19,591 total points. But for all of his accomplishments, Robinson was selected as an All-Star just once in his career during the 1994 season, which was one year after he earned the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award in 1993. He also made the NBA All-Defensive Second Team twice in 2000 and 2002.

A fantastic two-way player, the 6-foot-10 Robinson was one of the best shooting big men the game has ever seen. He was the tallest player to make more than 1,000 three-pointers until he was surpassed by Dirk Nowitzki and Rashard Lewis, making 1,253 threes in his career. Robinson was also an iron man. He rarely missed games due to injury and still holds the Trail Blazers franchise record for consecutive games played with 461.

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The Charlotte Hornets have named Joe Wolf head coach of their G League team, the Greensboro Swarm. Wolf becomes the second head coach in franchise history.

“We are excited to have Coach Wolf join our organization,” Kupchak said. “Joe has a wealth of experience at the collegiate and professional level and knows what it takes to develop young players. Coach Wolf will be an integral part of the program we are building. He is familiar with the region’s passion for basketball and we are excited for him to lead the Swarm in Greensboro.”

Wolf, 53, joins the Swarm after being an assistant coach at UNC Wilmington under C.B. McGrath. Prior to UNCW, Wolf was an assistant with the Brooklyn Nets (2014-17) and Milwaukee Bucks (2008-13). In total, Wolf brings over 14-years coaching experience to the job.

“I am thrilled to be the head coach of the Greensboro Swarm and join the Hornets organization,” Wolf said. “I want to thank Michael Jordan, the Jordan family, Mitch Kupchak, Buzz Peterson and James Borrego for giving me this opportunity in the G League. I am looking forward to developing young players, implementing Coach Borrego’s system and playing an exciting brand of basketball. I cannot wait to get to work.”

A native of Kohler, Wisconsin, began his coaching career after playing professionally for 11 seasons in 2003-04 at William & Mary. Wolf was the head coach for the Idaho Stampede of the Continental Basketball Association from 2004-06 before becoming the head coach/general manager of the Colorado 14ers in the NBA Development League (2006-08). During his tenure with Idaho and Colorado, 17 players were called up to the NBA. At the international level, Wolf served as an assistant coach the Ukrainian National Team, helping the court qualify for the 2014 FIBA World Cup.

Wolf played for seven franchises since being drafted as the No. 13 overall selection in the 1987 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers. Including two stints with the Hornets, he played for the Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Boston Celtics, Portland Trail Blazers, Orlando Magic and Milwaukee Bucks. He also played one season in Spain’s top league, the ACB, with Leon.

Heat re-sign Udonis Haslem

The Miami Heat have re-signed forward Udonis Haslem.

“It’s great to have our captain back,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “We’re looking forward to having UD back for his 16th season with the HEAT.”

Haslem, a three-time NBA Champion, has played his entire 15-year NBA career with the HEAT and currently holds the second-longest streak by any active player with only one team in the league. He has appeared in 844 career regular season games (498 starts) averaging 7.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 25.4 minutes while shooting 49.1 percent from the field and 75.5 percent from the foul line. The Miami native is the franchise all-time leader in offensive, defensive and total rebounds and also ranks among the HEAT’s all-time leaders in games played (2nd), starts (2nd), minutes (2nd), double-doubles (4th), field goals made (5th), field goals attempted (6th), points (7th), field goal percentage (7th), free throws made (8th), free throws attempted (8th), double-figure scoring efforts (8th), blocks (9th), steals (10th), assists (16th) and free throw percentage (18th). Additionally, he is the only undrafted player in NBA history to lead a franchise in total rebounds and has served as captain of the HEAT in each of the past 11 seasons, the longest tenure in team history.

Haslem has also seen action in 147 postseason games (84 starts) as a member of the HEAT and has averaged 5.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 21.7 minutes while shooting 48 percent from the floor and 71.3 percent from the foul line. In addition to being the HEAT’s all-time leader in offensive rebounds in postseason play he also ranks among Miami’s all-time postseason leaders in games played (2nd), total rebounds (2nd), games started (3rd), minutes (3rd), defensive rebounds (3rd), double-doubles (4th), field goals made (5th), field goals attempted (5th), free throws made (5th), steals (5th), dunks (5th), points (6th), free throws attempted (6th), double-figure scoring efforts (tied-6th), blocked shots (7th) and assists (10th).

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